Wednesday, March 30, 2016


For weeks (months? years?) I've been feeling overwhelmed by work.  My desk has been covered with charts and lab results, my dictation inbox has been overflowing with letters to edit, and I've been weeks behind on my to do list.  No matter how much effort I put in, it seemed like I was never doing any better than keeping the piles from growing larger.  And I hated it.

About two weeks ago, I had finally had enough of all of the things that loomed over me, so I made it my goal to get caught up on everything.  Everything.  Whenever I had a spare minute, I tackled the things that needed to be done.  I went into work early and stayed late.  I worked through lunch.  I logged on from home when I had extra time in the evenings or on weekends.  I worked my butt off, and I got shit done.  And now?  I'm caught up.  There are zero charts on my desk and zero dictations to sign off on.

All done.

It feels amazing.  I no longer want to scream at my administrative assistant* when she brings a pile of lab results into my office.  I have actual time to do the big picture things, like read journal articles and prepare presentations and (maybe someday) finish the article on my fellowship research.  By getting caught up, it is now possible to keep up with the things that come in every day and to stay caught up. 

Best.  Feeling.  Ever.

The only problem?  I'm so used to existing in a state of chaos and panic that I don't know how to function with the stress gone.  With nothing screaming at me to pay attention to it, it's hard to pay attention to anything.  How is a procrastinator to function once they stop procrastinating?

*I have never done this, because I'm not a jerkface.  Any physician who yells at people in his or her workplace (or anyone else, for that matter) is a jerkface.


  1. There is a hospitalist at the hospital where 4 of the specialists I see works. Whenever he sees me, he yells at me. At the time, I am usually sick, weak and confused and can't understand why he's yelling at me. I have requested not to be placed under his care, but he's one of the managing partners of the group. He overrides my request. Yes, he is a jerkface. I have other words that I call him. I have been practicing yelling "WTF are you doing here?" the moment he walks in the room if I ever have to go back to that hospital.

    1. That's truly awful. I can understand physicians having bad days, but I don't get people who are chronic assholes.

  2. Do you think that'll get better w/ experience (since you're a newer attending) or something you will always have to make a conscious effort to "Just do it?" I ask because in talking to one of my docs I've learned that he always clears off his desk & all calls are returned same day! Is he just crazy (I mean that "lovingly") or as I asked does it get better?? I recall quite a few years ago (I've been reading her for quite some time) you being undecided of your specialty??? Now that you're attending what did you chose? I recall oncology & nerphology/hepatology being on the list, perhaps????

  3. I think the doc you work with is brilliant. On most days it is possible to get all the paperwork and calls done as long as you're disciplined; the challenge is maintaining that discipline when going home is so much more appealing.

    Thanks for reading for so long! I ended up in Hepatology after a long deliberation.

    1. You're welcome! It's not hard....your blog is interesting & often thought provoking! What was the deciding factor in leading you to hepatology?? With GI including liver disease when does one seek out a hepatologist instead of working w/ a GI team?? Whatever it is, I hope that you continue loving what you're doing!!

      I hope you & the GF have a great rest of the weekend!